FINANCIAL/Much has been made in Washington over the last week in the U.S. Senate about which Democrats and Republicans would vote for the $410 billion bill to fund government operations because it includes thousands of lawmakers’ pet projects.

Some senators like Republican John McCain have excoriated the expenditures, roughly $7.7 billion according to a count by the independent group Taxpayers for Common Sense, as unnecessary spending or destined for projects that should have been properly vetted through regular congressional review.

Others like Democratic Senator Tom Harkin have defended their projects, arguing that they have worthy goals or are needed to address a problem.

Missouri Republican Kit Bond, who has $86 million worth of earmarks in the legislation according to the taxpayer group, for a week batted away reporters’ questions about whether he would support or oppose the bill.

His Missouri colleague, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, told reporters last week she was unsure whether she would support passing the legislation. She has criticized the process for earmarks and had none in the measure but has said some projects can be worthwhile.